India is probably the only large country in the world which is overwhelmingly dependent on external sources for its defence requirements. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India ranks among the world’s second-largest weapons purchaser just behind Saudi Arabia.
Leasing of capital equipment is a common commercial practice that has been adapted for military purpose. According to a research study by Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, the decision is not ‘lease versus buy’ but ‘lease versus do without’. The question that should be asked is, “How critical is the requirement for national security?”
Operation Desert Storm was the first instance when space capabilities were used to enhance operational effectiveness and battlefield agility of armed forces. Satellites today can support forces in a wide array of fields like early warning, attack assessment, satellite communications, surveillance, environmental monitoring, navigation and positioning, space control, ballistic missile defence, etc.
The story of the Indian defence industry is quite pathetic. Despite several associated bodies and a huge workforce engaged in research, development and production, India continues to be the world’s second-largest arms importer.
China understands that mobilisation of large forces will not make any difference to their 15 trillion economies but will definitely impact the economy of other nations like India, Bhutan and Nepal. The PLA has over a period of time amassed huge military assets which are exhibited by them to intimidate other nations. Today China occupies more than 50 per cent of territories through forceful occupation which includes Inner Mongolia, Akshai Chin, Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan.
The PM has been echoing the call for self-reliance on numerous occasions, post-onset of COVID 19. The recent standoff at the LAC has once again made security strategists revisit the issue of the location of supply chains in a country where openness and transparency are not consistent with what prevails in the democratic world.
The Chinese dream appears to have taken shape in 2012 with focus on three major dimensions of war - public opinion, psychological and legal warfare. The planning for the present incursions in Ladakh started as early as 2018 with the Chinese increased reference to training, India as the identified enemy, and references on how to strengthen Pakistan in military writings.
Almost 60-70 % of the army’s inventory is out-of-date and unserviceable due to lack of spares for repair, maintenance and overhaul. According to an internal audit - the Army has a critical shortage of artillery ammunition, tanks shells, fuses and spares for all types of weapons.
If the Army Chief General MM Naravane is to be believed –large main battle tanks have a limited role to play in the changing character of the 20th-century warfare. The logic behind this supposedly is that slow-moving tanks are bulky, noisy, and outdated war machines - easy to target and shoot down. The noise, smoke and dust raised by a moving tank column can alert the enemy – miles away.